To encourage more voluntary or accidental tax defaulters to pay up, the Federal Government is to offer tax defaulters with huge (tax) liabilities up to a period of three years to spread their tax payment under the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme.
According to a report by The Punch, “Top government officials involved in the implementation of VAIDS confided in our correspondent that those who failed to take advantage of the scheme and later found to have under-declared their income or assets would be treated as wilful tax evaders and made to face the full force of the law.
“The official said apart from prosecution, the government had agreed to allow taxpayers with huge tax debts to enter into arrangements to pay outstanding tax liabilities in instalments.
“However, he said while these categories of tax defaulters might be allowed to settle their tax obligations in instalments, they would be required to pay interest on the outstanding balance.”
“The official said, “Even though ignorance of the law is not an excuse, the government has decided to take the pragmatic approach of offering an amnesty window to allow Nigerians, who may have evaded tax, whether ignorantly or deliberately, the opportunity to do their civic duty and pay the correct taxes whilst providing the much needed revenue for Nigeria’s infrastructure.
“The Federal Government appreciates that many defaulters have assets but may not have cash. Therefore, taxpayers will be allowed to enter into arrangements to pay outstanding tax liabilities in instalments.
“Taxpayers may, at the discretion of the relevant authority, be granted up to three years to pay their liability, but will be obliged to pay interest on the outstanding balance.”